This article from Wired magazine is primarily an interview of Hilary Rosen, at the time head of the RIAA and an important Washington lobbyist. However, it also showcases the tremendous consumer backlash against her and the RIAA following the Napster case. The article opens with Rosen at a debate concerning music file sharing at Oxford University, in which she is repeatedly attacked by a crowd of students. It moves to describe how she became a powerful music lobbyist, and how she handled percieved threats to the music industry. She notes that she tried to explain to the music executives how important the digital frontier was, and that ignoring it could lead to disastrous consequences. Explaining that the executives actually consider her to be too soft on these issues (apparently these execs still want to put teenagers in jail), she describes how she encouraged companies to embrace the internet and start their own online music distribution systems.
This article's description of a lobbyist is interesting, but much more fascinating is the vitriol of music consumers. They see Rosen as "the Unabomber in a pantsuit" and "the Antichrist" (the debate at the beginning devolves into simple attacks agains the industry and Rosen). All because she tried to prevent the illegal distribution of music online. The article notes that "To some extent, at least, the record companies have themselves to blame," and it's correct. The RIAA, by going after file sharing so forcefully and determinedly, created this huge backlash by its own consumer base.
What does this have to do with video game emulation? Everything. If the ESA goes after emulation in the same way as the RIAA did file sharing, it is very easy to imagine a world in which the ESA commands just as much hate as the RIAA does. So far, it seems that no video game company has really created this much ill will amongst consumers, but if the industry doesn't step carefully that could change. Think of this article as a warning. If modern video game consumers have gotten used to emulation and downloading ROMs, a significant attack by the ESA could result in a tremendous backlash.